Soft Waves on Short Hair

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Since I cut my hair a few weeks ago, I’ve gotten a few requests for a “curling short hair” tutorial. So, I whipped one up this weekend. 
I use a 1 3/4 inch Babyliss Pro curling iron at about 75% heat. I turned the heat down a bit for a softer curl. If you want an even softer curl than what you see here, turn the heat down on your curling iron even further. That’s a great way to achieve different curls without having to buy numerous sized curling irons. 

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sweater: Loft, earrings: Stella and Dot via Nicole Hazen, lipstick: Albeit in Peony, lip gloss: Mac Big Baby

Questions about my haircut? Click here.
Questions about my color? Click here.

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Comments (73)

  1. Luisen says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Hello Kate, thanks a lot for the tutorial. ow long do these curls usually last you???

  2. Posted February 3, 2014
  3. Posted February 3, 2014

    Would love to see more quick styles for short hair since I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair most of the time. This looks pretty easy.

  4. Posted February 3, 2014

    Would love to see more quick styles for short hair since I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair most of the time. This looks pretty easy.

  5. Posted February 3, 2014

    4:02 – Is that a cat’s tail that floated by? That was cute.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 3, 2014

      Oh yeah-I forgot to mention that!

  6. Steph says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Very nice and easy look!

  7. Camille says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    What cracks me up, and I mean this in the nicest way, is how, in all your videos, you effortlessly section off your hair then proceed to curl it. My hair is similar to yours, and I’ve learned so much from these tutorials. On reason they’re so helpful is because you work on your own hair and not someone else’s. Most surprising may be how you never seem to force a style but work with the hair and use a gentle touch.

  8. Posted February 3, 2014

    I LOVE your hair, Kate!

  9. Posted February 3, 2014

    Perfect tutorial, Kate! I just cut my hair similar to yours (and love it!) when the length was just too much and wouldn’t do anything anymore. I have worn it curled under with a straightener and this way, and I love the bounce that I get with the shorter length. I used a 1″ Hot Tools iron (anything bigger doesn’t seem to allow the curl to stay long), but love the idea of just curling that back section under instead of trying to curl it like the rest of my hair. Now if only my bangs would cooperate 80% of the time!

  10. Posted February 3, 2014

    This is so helpful. Thank you! What are you wearing on your lips? I love the color!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 3, 2014

      Just updated the post with links!

  11. Mama B says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Love this tutorial! I recently cut my hair similar to yours, so I can’t wait to try this at home. 🙂

    Also, I’m sorry if you’ve answered this before…I tried looking back through your old beauty posts but couldn’t find it. What color lipgloss/lipstick are you wearing? It’s such a pretty neutral. I love it.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 3, 2014

      I just updated the post with links 🙂

    • Mama B says
      Posted February 3, 2014

      Awesome, thank you! 🙂

  12. Janelle says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    I love this hair-legnth on you! It is so cute… and makes you look you so young. Not that you didn’t look young before, but that cut suits your face and personality very well. 🙂
    A question:
    I have a similar cut to yours so I’m trying new hair styles with it. However, I recently moved from a very dry climate to a very humid one so I am trying to combat the humidity. My styles seem to go “blah” after an hour or so. I assume it’s the humidity. Any tips?

  13. John says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Nina says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Love the hair, and the lipstick color! What lipstick is it?

  15. Sarah says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    I feel like I’m having a “duh” moment right now- I’ve never thought to turn the heat down for a softer curl! Trying this tomorrow AM! Thank you!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 3, 2014

      Glad I could help!

  16. Ashley says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Love your hair like this!! So pretty…

    Xo Ash,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

  17. Amy H says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    What’s theB&B product you recommended?
    ove your tutorials. I have learned SO much.

  18. Posted February 3, 2014

    Thanks for this tutorial! I am currently growing out a short bob, and its about your length right now. I always felt like when I curled it it became waaayyy to short and could never get the very bottom to curl/lay right when curling all of it! (PS did this today with hair that I washed last night and no product in & I love it, cant wait to try it with some product to give my hair some volume!)

  19. Posted February 3, 2014

    Hi Kate
    Thanks for this tutorial. I probably cut my hair like yours after my wedding.
    I also have a question: my hair looks so greasy, thin and flat. Please suggest me, if that possible.
    Thank you.

  20. robin says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    hey kate is the iron a 1 inch like the link takes us to or is it a 1 3/4 inch?….I googled for a 1 3/4 inch but could only find babyliss pro in 1, 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inch. LOVE your hair videos, they are truly the best and I want to get the same tools you use. thanks

  21. Posted February 3, 2014

    you seriously have the most gorgeous hair!! could you come do mine every morning?? xo

  22. Posted February 3, 2014

    Love this tutorial! I always chop several inches of hair off at a time, then let it grow back out, but I’ve kept it at this length since October now and I love it. This style looks so effortless and chic! 🙂

  23. Posted February 3, 2014

    I had my hair like this for my engagement pics – love how it looks styled but not too perfect!
    – Rachel

  24. Posted February 3, 2014

    Hello Kate! I have a question! I just started teaching myself how to curl my hair with a curling iron. My hair is very difficult to curl. I put my hair into sections and curl my hair. I spray each section with hair spray first, let it dry, and then curl the way I have watched you curl your hair in your videos! After I get a section done I spray the whole section with hairspray again and then finish curling the rest of my hair. My hair looks great when its first done but it never fails that my bottom layer curls fall out and go pin straight…its very frustrating. What am I doing wrong?

  25. Laurel says
    Posted February 3, 2014

    Just wondering if you ever use a clipless curling iron? I bought one a few months ago (in one of those “I’m going to do more things to my hair!” fits) and I haven’t even tried it. And last week I just got my hair cut a little longer than yours… and I’d really like to do something nice when my hubby and I go out on V-Day weekend…

  26. Posted February 4, 2014

    What are your tricks for stick straight hair! My hair does not hold curl well at all:(:( I talked my mom into a perm at 10 years old and it may have lasted a month!!! Help a sister out!:)

  27. Jenni T says
    Posted February 4, 2014

    You make it look so effortless! I love the look and my hair is just slightly shorter. However, I know SOMEBODY (me!) will get injured if I try to use a curling iron behind my head!! Maybe I’ll try it just ONE more time!

  28. Posted February 4, 2014

    You are just so dang pretty! Thank you so much for the simply easy way to do a soft wave. I am wondering though, what camera do you use?

  29. Posted February 4, 2014

    With that top pic right beside your blog profile pic on the right, it totally shows what you’ve said! The shorter style really does flatter your face. You look “lighter”. I want to chop my hair!

  30. marisa says
    Posted February 4, 2014

    This is incredibly beautiful.

  31. Posted February 4, 2014

    Your hair looks great shorter. I love having short hair, I always get asked how I get so much lift and I always tell them it is because I have short layered hair! Love it!

  32. Posted February 4, 2014

    Thank you for this video. Also thank you for mentioning the Aquage uplifting foam enough for me to notice–I have a lot of hair but it’s fine and slippery and the Aquage helps me deal. I hope you are having good luck this week with the nursing–it’s great you found a lactation consultant you like to help you navigate everything. You are doing everything you can to be the best advocate for your son, so best wishes. And thanks for the blog!

  33. Posted February 4, 2014

    You make it look so easy. I wish you had tips for fine hard to curl hair.

  34. Posted February 4, 2014

    Thank you for showing us! Your hair looks great 🙂 I’ve recently chopped mine so this was super helpful – will definitely be trying it out!
    xx gemma @ andgeesaid

  35. Posted February 4, 2014
  36. Posted February 4, 2014

    It’s so nice, helpful and too easy, anyone can try this at home. Hair has the effect on personality everyone should take care. I have suffered two times hair falling this is the blog help me out.

  37. Posted February 4, 2014

    Today I had my midi-hair done following your tutorial and it was a blast! Everybody loved it and although I wasn’t as fast as you, I could sort it out quite allright. Thanks you very much! 🙂

  38. Posted February 5, 2014

    Thank you for this. It’s so simple and worked beautifully on my extremely thick, mid to short hair.

  39. Posted February 5, 2014

    Gorgeous in every way!!! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Aunie says
    Posted February 5, 2014

    Love it! Your hair is just a bit longer than mine right now, so this was perfect. Plus, haha at the cat tail. Just loved it 😉

  41. Posted February 5, 2014

    Kate, thinking of cutting my hair to this length once again. I have a question for you. How do you style your hair at this length for exercising, working in the yard or the beach? I liked my bob but was frustrated that I couldn’t find a style to get it pulled up/back for times I needed it pulled out of my face.
    Thank you.

  42. Posted February 6, 2014

    Ever since I accidentally sold all my curling irons at a garage sale, I’ve been searching for one that would last and work with my hair. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ve already placed an order and it should be here on Saturday so I can try out your tutorial. So excited! Thank you again 🙂

  43. Posted February 7, 2014

    Just found your blog….. LOVE it!
    So pumped!

  44. EKB says
    Posted February 8, 2014

    This is great!!! Love your tutorials :-}

  45. Posted February 8, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Posted February 8, 2014

    Great tutorial! I am about to get my hair cut to a shoulder length bob and have been wondering how to style it! Thank you for this!!!

  47. Posted February 9, 2014

    Hi Kate, I too just found your blog absolutely love your style. I just cut about 6 inches of my hair and it is exactly your cut, but I have thicker hair and natural volume. How do I get a good, defined but loose curl without so much poofie-ness?

  48. Posted February 11, 2014

    what is the name of the product you put in your hair at the roots?

  49. Posted February 12, 2014

    I tried this curling iron for the first time this morning on the lowest setting, and it burned my hair right off 🙁 I have natural hair (no coloring or chemicals) and it’s not very dry. Have you ever experienced this from Babyliss products?

  50. Posted February 15, 2014

    wonderfully gorgeous thank you. Love your hair too

  51. Posted February 24, 2014

    I have fine hair, so I never let it get much longer than a little bit past my collar bones. Otherwise it can look very scraggly and go flat very easily. I LOVE to cut my hair short in different lengths of a-line/bobs. *But* I also love to pull my hair up and off of my neck. I would love it if you could figure out some fun up-dos that would still work on fairly short hair, especially now that your hair is shorter. I’m sometimes reluctant to cut my hair shorter just because I want to be able to pull it off of my neck completely. But it really is cute shorter and has more volume. Help!

  52. Posted March 2, 2014

    Hi Kate! I just got a 1.5″ hot tools curling iron- same length hair as you, but it really isn’t curling the hair! Do you think it is too large of a barrel? (Or maybe it’s the user) but I was just curious 🙂 thanks!

  53. Posted April 1, 2014

    Hi, Thanks for the great tutorials! In short, I have hair similar to yours (I think). When I use the Aquage Root Lifter my hair gets many wirey pieces that shoot up. That happens with all mousse products. I use Enjoy Luxury Shampoo and Conditioner. Do you think I need more conditioner?

  54. Posted April 10, 2014

    Hi Kate! I love all of your tutorials. When you dry your hair upside down, do you brush it out as you’re drying it? How does it come out looking so straight and smooth?

  55. Rachel H says
    Posted May 28, 2014

    Hi Kate, I was looking for this tutorial on your revamped tutorial page but couldn’t find it there, so I searched through your posts and found it here. Just wanted to let you know! 🙂

  56. Fanny says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Hi Kate: I love all your tutorials. It would help me a lot more if you can give me a “basic” introduction of all the hair products you use in your videos. Thanks.

  57. Marilyn says
    Posted January 9, 2015

    Hi Kate, I too just recently found your blog through a Pinterest posting and love all your tips. Can you post (or let me know if you already have posted) how to cut your hair so it looks like you have it in this tutorial? I’d really like to give it to my hairdresser….and get mine cut like this.

  58. Hieu says
    Posted May 3, 2015

    Hi Kate, I love your blogs and your videos. Thank you. I recently just bought a curling iron after watching your videos and tried using it but found that it’s so much harder then it looks by you…hope you can make or of you already have a video on how to use the curling iron. Thanks.

  59. Kacie M. says
    Posted May 7, 2015

    I know this post is over a year old, but I went with the LOB again, but a little shorter than the last time – and this is a great tutorial for when I attempt to curl it for the first time this weekend. My hair is the shortest it’s been in a long time so is taking some time to get used to – and curling (iron or straightener) will add some fun to it.